The Irish kid entered British football history through a wide door after playing with his Glenavon team in the League Cup in Northern Ireland.
Christopher Atherton featured in the second half of Glenavon against fellow Dollingstown in the League Cup at the age of 13 years and 329 days.
Atherton thus became the youngest player to play for the first team in British football history.
And Glenafon FC’s official Twitter account posted a tweet congratulating the young player on this historic achievement.
Glenavon Academy player Christopher Atherton made his first team debut tonight against Dollingstown in the League Cup. At the age of 1⃣3⃣ years and 3⃣2⃣9⃣ days, he became the youngest player in the UK to play in a first-class match.
Congratulations Christo!!👏🏼💙 pic.twitter.com/hypGdC5R7p
— Glenavon FC (@Glenavon_FC) September 13, 2022
“Glenavon Academy player Christopher Atherton made his first-team debut against Dollingstown in the League Cup tonight,” the club said in a statement.
He added: “At 13 years and 329 days old, he became the youngest player in the United Kingdom to play in a first team match. Congratulations Christo.”
McCrackens got a great plugin @bbcnewsline tonight when they demonstrated @glenavon.fc rising star Christopher Atherton for being the UK’s youngest footballer at 13! 👏👏#mccrakens#irishcraftbeer#football
— McCrackens Brewery (@MccrackensAle) September 14, 2022
Atherton did not draw attention to himself, as he was only a young player, but immediately contributed to one of his team’s goals after he made the decisive pass from which Glenavon scored the sixth and final goal.
Atherton broke the previous UK record held for 42 years, held by Eamonn Collins while wearing a Blackpool first team shirt.
Collins made his Blackpool debut on 9 September 1980 when he was 14 years and 323 days old.
There are several British clubs looking to sign Atherton, led by Scottish side Dundee United, according to the Daily Mail.